Tonight we come to the second section of our diagram on prayer. Last week we saw that we should spend the first few minutes of our prayer hour in "praise". Next we should spend some time 'waiting' on God. "Be still and know that I am God:" cf Ps. 46:10a
I. What does it mean to "Wait on God"?
A. It is a time of silent surrender.
1. Not drifting into daydreaming.
2. It demands our close attention.
3. Where praise is the verbalizing of our esteem for God, waiting is silent love.
B. It is wordless worship.
1. It is spiritual love expressed in silence.
2. It is illustrated by a pastor's little boy who knew he was not to disturb his father during his important times of study.
3. But the little fellow hurt himself while playing and came to his father's office and asked, "Daddy, I promise to be quiet and sit down, but I just need to be with you for a while.
C. It is being alone with God.
1. Prayer is not primarily asking God for things.
2. Genuine prayer is a relationship.
3. Illustration: My wife and I talk about many things, but there are times when we don't talk at all.
4. These are the most intimate times together...we don't have to say much we just enjoy being together.
II. What should be the focus of our waiting?
A. All attention must center in our Heavenly Father.
1. "Be still and know that I am God:" cf Ps. 46:10a
2. The knowledge of God is best revealed in silent waiting.
3. It is the experience of many of us that when we are away from all the distractions of the world we have a sense of drawing closer to God.
4. Knowing someone intimately is impossible with limited attention.
5. Intimacy takes time and concen- tration on that individual.
B. The focus of our prayer is far more important than the answer.
1. That seems strange to us doesn't it?
2. The point of prayer should not be selfishly centered around what we want!
3. The point of prayer is to get to God.
III. What is the value of waiting?
A. It prepares us for confession.
1. Many of us deceive ourselves concerning our need to confess before God.
2. A time of silent waiting, while focusing on a Sovereign God helps us see ourselves in a new light.
3. This has been the experience of all great men of God.
4. When Isaiah saw God, he realized his own sinfulness and cried out "Woe is me"!
B. It allows time for a proper connection.
1. I have a modem on my computer that allows me to connect to other computer systems.
2. However, after I dial I must wait until a proper connection is made before I can communicate with the other system.
3. In much the same way, we need time to connect with God in prayer.
C. Like anything that is worthwhile, waiting in prayer takes time.
1. In Acts 9:6 Paul asked, "Lord what will thou have me to do?"
2. He spent some three years in the solitude of Arabia waiting for what God wanted him to do.
3. The Bible says that God spoke to Moses 'face to face' as a man speaks to a friend.
4. We know that their friendship was many years in the making.
Andrew Murray said, "Here is the secret of a life of prayer. Take time in the inner chamber to bow down and worship; and wait on Him until He unveils Himself, and takes possession of you, and goes out with you to show how a man can live and walk in abiding fellowship with an unseen Lord." The challenge is clear, we must wait on God in our sweet hour of prayer.